-AS SEEN IN BRIDAL GUIDE MAGAZINE-
Over a round of golf on the picturesque Jim Fazio course at Barnsley Resort, a sprawling estate in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia, Cliff Davis asked Emily Davis’s father for her hand in marriage. "Barnsley Resort is a special place for my family. It was a go-to staycation for us. I grew up in Marietta, GA, so it was a beloved close-by getaway," says Emily who now lives in Dallas. It was a lightbulb moment when she learned the story of her dad and now husband on the course. “Considering how special Barnsley Resort is to my family, the place that would showcase that quintessential Georgia vibe to all of our Texas friends and family” made it the picture-perfect — and service-oriented — locale for their wedding weekend.
Sprawling over 300 photogenic pastoral acres, the property, which was actually a wedding gift two centuries ago, is more like an intimate village than a mere historic hotel. Among the three eateries, inn-, cottage-, and villa guest accommodations, and various outposts for activities, there are myriad options for hosting events. And Emily and Cliff took advantage of many of them over the course of their celebration. “Our ceremony was on the museum lawn and the reception was in the Pavillion, an open-air space with soaring beamed wooden ceilings. The rehearsal dinner, hosted by Cliff’s parents, was in the indoor/outdoor Georgian Hall, which flaunts a grand porch.
The Taste Georgia is as known for peanuts, pecans and pimento cheese, as it is peaches. And Barnsley’s catering menus throughout the wedding weekend reflected the best in the Southern state’s cuisine. Favorites on the lunch menu at Woodlands Grill include pimento cheese beignets, blackened coastal shrimp and pecan pie. The upscale Rice House is a celebration of local, farm-fresh ingredients inventively prepared in seasonally changing tastings menus. And the casual Beer Garden offers the best in regional brews.
"Cliff’s family has a veil that the majority of the women in the family have worn, including in-laws! I felt so lucky they asked me to wear it, too. I also wore my mom's diamonds, which was very special."
On the Rise
Barnsley's Ruins and their adjacent gardens are not only imposing and beautiful, they are also a remnant of Major General William Sherman’s Civil War march to the sea. The vestiges of an English-manor style estate built by Godfrey Barnsley in the 1840s, the structure was burned in an effort to disrupt the economic strongholds of the confederacy. Today the area is among the property’s most photographed. Says Emily of the space: "Our photographer, Garter + Whiskey, captured so many amazing shots here. He snuck us away during sunset to shoot a few more pictures, and we are so thankful."
Small Town Charm
Located equidistant from Atlanta and Chattanooga, Adairsville is a quaint quiet town with a population of fewer than 5,000 people. The revitalized downtown is lined with period homes. Attractions include antique shops, a mercantile and historic locomotive events.
From golf and horseback riding to yoga and an excellent spa, expansive amenities are a Barnsley hallmark. And Cliff, Emily and their guests took full advantage of the offerings over their celebratory weekend. The bride and her attendants enjoyed a yoga class on the green followed by a poolside luncheon on Friday, while her groom and friends played golf. The day of the wedding after breakfast at the on-site Beer Garden, Cliff and pals tried their hands at axe throwing. .
“The food all weekend was amazing!” And so was the service: “The staff was super-attentive, even being at the ready with golf carts to help transport our guests around the property.
Marriage licenses are required in the state of Georgia. Couples must be 18 years or older to apply and must do so in person. Licenses are issued by county probate courts and cost about $60; discounts are available if the couple completes a premarital course. Proof of age, and if applicable a divorce decree or death certificate, are required along with the payment. There is no waiting period.
Utterly romantic Barnsley Resort has the essence of love at the center of its DNA. In fact, two hundred years ago the estate was gifted by Godfrey Barnsley to his bride upon their marriage. Located the same distance to Atlanta and Chattanooga, in the sleepy town of Adairsville, not only is the sprawling property with breathtaking gardens and a just as pretty golf course an awesome place to host a full-service wedding weekend, it’s also a storybook hideaway for a minimoon.
Accommodations include 55 rooms in an intimate inn and 39 individual cottages. The latter are particularly honeymoon-perfect thanks to soaking tubs and pastoral views; some have fireplaces. Beyond the sumptuous rooms, the resort flaunts all manner of on-site activities including a swimming pool, yoga, horseback riding, archery, axe throwing and guided tours of the Ruins, vestiges of the original 1840s estate that were burned during the Civil War. Golf on the JIm Fazio course is wildly popular, as are pampering treatments in the large spa. Mealtimes can be casual — there’s a laid-back Beer Garden and more upscale grill — or sophisticated in the farmhouse-turned elevated dining room called The Rice House. All are helmed by Spain-born, France-trained Chef Javier Cuesta who puts an innovative twist on Southern classics (room rates start at $409 a night, plus a $45 resort fee per person; barnselyresort.com).
- Wedding Planner: Natalie Durham with Natalie Durham Events
- Catering: Barnsley Resort
- Wedding Cake: Cakehouse on Main
- Florist: Natalie Durham Events
- Photographer: Garter + Whiskey
- Videographer: Imagine Video Productions
- Event Design: Barnsley Resort
- Ceremony Music: Gracie Sommers and Guests Trio
- Reception Band: Big Bling and the Funk Machine
- Rentals: Crush by Event Works and Party Table
- Linens: La Tavola and Party Table Linens
- Invitations: 16th and Taylor
- Bride's Dress: Sareh Nouri
- Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka
- Bride's Sister's Dresses: BHLDN
- Hair and Makeup: Cassie Capri